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Art History - Research Paper Example

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Works of art are meant to communicate a message and this is evident in The Happy Couple by Judith Leyster and The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet. Both artworks are a manifest of socio-economic events happening in the society and their overall influence on shaping thoughts and ideologies. For example, The Happy Couple is an embodiment of love and tenderness that Judith Leyster did in 1630 when she lived in Netherlands with her husband. It was painted using oil on canvas and its dimensions are 81.8?110.7 cm (32?43 in) and it can be found currently at the Louvre, France. On the other hand, for Jean-Francois Millet’s The Gleaners, it has interesting features worth noting (Weiner, 2000). The painting was done in 1857 in the wake of the French Revolution to encourage the lower-class workers. While using oil on canvas, Millet attempted to represent socialism as a means empowering workers over landowners who subjugate their interests. Interested persons can find the painting at Musee d’Orsay, Paris for viewing and enjoyment. Its dimensions are 83.8cm?111.8cm (33?44 in) and it is a realism painting that narrates the struggles of the French people especially the lower classes in their endeavors to succeed. The main agendas of the two artworks are directly linked to the agitation for recognition in a society that was increasingly becoming exploitative to the lower classes hence making life hard for them. This is notable in The Gleaners, an apt example of realism with the display of peasant women who are tilling land to find a harvest of wheat. As a result, the painting’s depiction of real life implies that the lower classes were impeded by the upper group into entering the upward mobility (Walther, 2002). The inaccessibility was hence motivated by the growing gap between power and helplessness that characterized France after the French Revolution. In The Happy Couple, Leyster was revealing the various aspects of her family that eventually bore her five children prompting her to leave painting. It means the painting infuses the elements of realism and symbolism in communicating its message of bliss while also evoking a deeper sense of uncertainties and doubts in marriages. It is vital to compare The Happy Couple by Leyster and The Gleaners by Millet based on numerous reasons. They, for instance, represent vividly artistic periods of societies when art was a serious medium of communication unlike in the modern age. Comparing the two artworks also gives an understanding of realism and symbolism and how they apply in the context of disseminating messages to the ordinary human beings as witnessed with The Gleaners. This is unlike Leyster’s painting that echoed a graceful period when people yearned for good marriages and children to create families (Weiner, 2000). Therefore, the main idea of comparing the works is examine their significance today in the different structures of society especially the socio-economic and political factors. Leyster equally integrates brushwork to connect to a period of distress as she struggled to become a professional. For instance, her visual elements in The Happy Couple such as too much oil on the edges is another revealing representation of the surrealist period when art served for aesthetic purposes than as a tool of raising consciousness. It is also noted in The Gleaners by Millet where the central focus of the background attaches itself the physical abundance that cannot be ...Show more
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Art History Name: Instructor: Task: Date: Art History Comprehending how art impacts human beings in societies is a critical step because it helps solve human problems. It also assists in understanding the basic elements such as the use of oil on canvas and silhouettes and how they define art in terms of communication (Walther, 2002)…
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